• Record Label: Merge
  • Release Date: Jan 19, 2010

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Ratcheting his reticence up half a turn, he opens with his bleakest new song, and only if you follow his chronically noncommittal lyrics will you notice his emotions opening up along with his tunes, his attitudes along with his structures.
  2. It may pretty much lack any semblance of conventional verse-chorus-verse structure, but for those who find the metronomic abstractions of this band soothing, Transference is exactly what you crave, unadorned.
  3. Transference features immediately winning songs like "Who Makes Your Money," "Written In Reverse," and "Got Nuffin," all thickly groovy in the classic Spoon style, and it breaks some new ground on the aching, twangy "Out Go The Lights," which finds Daniel paying homage to Factory Records.
  4. The album twisted and turned its already discombobulated songs around and around, never letting anyone get comfortable. It showed a more cerebral Spoon than ever before.
  5. Spoon have created an album that will not only satisfy long-time observers but will also act as a gateway for those yet to discover their charms.
  6. The decision not to focus on immediate pop hooks is really a blessing, though, as this album showcases Spoon at their loosest and most diverse.
  7. What we have here is a great album, un- or under-appreciated....What Transference does is it opens a space for this band to experiment within again.
  8. Transference has the act experimenting more with textures and mood. The result is a collection of melodic fragments and unexpectedly welcome left turns.
  9. Transference is a challenging, mature statement from a band generally known for more for refining their approach with each release.
  10. While the bandmates sound like the veterans they are on Transference, Spoon brings to this new level the same prickliness and elusiveness that has informed all of its previous albums, and that has attracted devoted fans intent on parsing every word and note.
  11. As usual, the production is raw with traces of the recording process still evident. Although Transference lacks the overwhelming variety of "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga," there are notable moments of exploration. [Feb 2010, p.96]
  12. Spoon are equally as enjoyable, and perhaps that bit more intriguing, when they are a little bit harder to fathom. Plus, to put it simply, there ain't a duff track to be found here.
  13. While Transference is remarkable in its own right, song for song it stands tall alongside the best of the band's entire catalog. [Holiday, 2009, p.77]
  14. It's another unfussy, unshowy winner.
  15. Sure, Transference may not reach the same dizzying heights as "Kill the Moonlight" or "Gimme Fiction" did, but it's still better than half the indie-rock music that's out there today. Why? Because, in short, it's a Spoon album.
  16. Nearly half these songs are the original demos, which explains some of the austerity that makes it such a compelling listen from a band that's still at the mercy of its muse.
  17. 80
    This is the challenging, take-no-prisoners result, an audacious fusion of the reliable and the experimental, as daniel and Eno continue into the new decade a musical conversation as lively and uncompromising as that of Jack and Meg White. [Feb 2010, p.99]
  18. Given Spoon's reputation for consistency, it's not a surprise that Transference is good. However, it manages to be good in surprising ways.
  19. Within Spoon's astute use of sunny structure, a brooding heart of murky frustration lurks. A deceptive, addictive album, revelling in hidden depths.
  20. The somber, subtle hand instills Transference with a fair amount of grace, an impressive feat for a band known more for its indie irreverence than its elegance.
  21. It's as though they've found the link between tightly driven post punk and loose garage rock. Songs such as "Trouble," "Mystery Zone," and last year's single "Got Nuffin" bridge the gap between Nuggets and the Stiff Records label. This is certainly what indie rock has been based on for the past 30 years and so far only Spoon has done it with any success. As though to balance out the rock or to satisfy their interest in each end of the song writing spectrum, Transference also satisfies.
  22. Experimental yet entirely accessible, Transference proves that Spoon are of America's finest bands. [Feb 2010, p. 111]
  23. It can be a bit of a let down if you come in expecting another blockbuster like "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga," but something of a revelation if you meet them halfway.
  24. Spoon's seventh studio album, Transference, strikes a balance between its early angsty indie-rock and the soulful deconstructed pop of its 2007 release, "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga."
  25. This is Spoon at its most Spoony.
  26. 70
    With little more than tense bass, wiry guitar, and that signature uh-AH-uh-uh-AH percussion, the songs (recorded on the quick in Daniel's house) crackle with the freshness of rough-cut demos.
  27. Transference offers up several solid additions to the Spoon canon and setlist, but narrowly misses living up to its pedigree.
  28. Transference is Spoon's seventh album and, at times, sounds like their best.
  29. Their seventh album, might be one of their best, with the band and leader Britt Daniel sounding as energised and playful as a puppy
  30. Transference is a good album, just not in league with what's become par.
  31. Transference, the Austin band's seventh full-length, will serve as another whittling down of the singular aesthetic that has made them one of the most engaging American bands of the past decade.
  32. Most of the songs lack distinctive melodies, relying instead on shifting textures and trance-like rhythm to hold the listener's interest.
  33. Careful consideration shows that Transference really is exactly the record that Spoon intend it to be. It's just not a record that anyone really needs, one from which our feelings will all-too-easily transfer the next time that Spoon put out a record that inevitably reminds us of Spoon.
  34. Transference is the victim of an unfortunate irony--the more honed, the less it cuts.
  35. Lyrically, Daniel is more vulnerable than on previous efforts--transference being a part of psychoanalysis--but not enough that he takes many new creative turns.
  36. 60
    But there is nothing here that will leap out of the speakers to entice the unconverted, despite the Weezer-like spod-rock of Fot Nuffin and Trouble's garage pop stomp. [Feb 2010, p. 92]
  37. Even Spoon's nice sounding (albeit always obtuse) lyrics can't make up for the generally flat music here, and with Transference, Spoon's undeniable swagger has taken a considerable hit.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 94 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. j30
    Feb 1, 2012
    If you were expecting another Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga then this will be a huge disappointment for you. The first time I listened to Transference I hadIf you were expecting another Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga then this will be a huge disappointment for you. The first time I listened to Transference I had to take a step back (Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga still remains my favorite Spoon album) and reexamine everything they had done to this point. This record just makes sense at this point in their career. Their 7th studio album was not only produced by themselves, half of the tracks are in their demo form, giving the record a more personable, home studio feel. Full Review »
  2. Jan 25, 2012
    Transference is probably Spoon's most odd album. It's a little less catchy than most of their other albums but don't get me wrong,Transference is probably Spoon's most odd album. It's a little less catchy than most of their other albums but don't get me wrong, Transference is one of their best. It's a more personal album that needs to be experienced rather than listened too. Spoon just seems to always get better. A- Full Review »
  3. Jul 29, 2011
    Just like many Spoon albums, Transference has great lyrics. Is Transference a good album? Not really. In the true spirit of Spoon,Just like many Spoon albums, Transference has great lyrics. Is Transference a good album? Not really. In the true spirit of Spoon, Transference has great beats. Is Transference a commanding addition to their repertoire? Far from it. Does Transference have the skinny white guy swagger that we've come to love from Spoon? Yes. Is it at least a decent release? Barely.

    It's just a boring album. The songs do a good job of establishing a mood but beyond that, they just kind of hang there, constantly hammering on the same idea and oftentimes without enough melody to make a complete song. Take "Who Makes Your Money" as an example. It's got a cool new wave kind of vibe with some neat little sounds blipping and beeping in the background, but at no time does it do anything new melodically, rhythmically or harmonically. This is the sort of approach that we get from far too much of the album.

    It's not all bad. I'll fully admit that "The Mystery Zone" is wonderful.This is the kind of tune that we expect to hear from Spoon. Mmmmm, yeah. That's some funky **** I like it. BUT THEN IT JUST **** ENDS. JUST LIKE THAT. IN THE MIDDLE OF A CHORUS. Who's the jackass that thought that was a good idea? It's like sitting down to a delicious lunch and then when you're halfway through your veggie burger (I'm a vegan. This is my blog. In my blog, you're vegan too. Get used to it.) and you're loving every single bite of it and BOOM. IT'S GONE. SOME ASS BASKET TOOK IT AWAY. I'm not totally sure why they ended the song like that. Were they unable to come up with a decent ending and just gave up? Did they think that was a good way to end an otherwise knock out of a song? I don't know. I am left befuddled and without the other half of my veggie burger.

    One might think that my previous paragraph was a bit superfluous. After all, it's just the way one song ended that made me mad. No. No it's not. This is what you can expect from most of this album. It constantly struggles to achieve the kind of brutal awesomenicity (This is MY blog and I use MY words. Get used to it.) that's commonly found on albums like Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga and Gimme Fiction. When it begins to achieve awesomenicity, they just pull the rug out from under you. Transference is one of the best reviewed albums of 2010, much to my surprise. It really makes me wonder why all of the other critics out there have give it such fantastic reviews. Perhaps it's because Spoon has wowed us time and time again with a seemingly never ending run of great albums and people are in denial about the sudden lack of impact that this one delivers.

    Whatever the case may be, I'm calling Spoon out on this one. Spoon, you guys are fantastic. You write fun, witty, funky grooves that make hipster girls boogie in their Converse All Stars. For that, we love you. Just don't put out another album like this. groovesandwich.typepad.com
    Full Review »